A Bald Eagle within 5 Miles of every Lucas County Resident?

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by: Kim High, Metroparks Master Interpreter

Glimpsing wildlife as you hike the Towpath is sure to add excitement to your experience, and Metroparks works hard regularly to help conserve the natural resources that increase those odds. Acquiring and maintaining habitat are critical for the conservation of the many fascinating species that call this area home.

One species that undoubtedly has benefitted from the acquisition and protection of public wild lands along the Towpath and in this region at large is our own national symbol-- the Bald Eagle. With its large size and striking adult plumage, this magnificent bird demands respect from both humans and wildlife. For us, the Bald Eagle represents powerful leadership and independence. To wildlife, its status at the top of the food pyramid deems it a formidable presence to many kinds of prey, from fish to waterfowl to even small mammals.

Habitat loss, persecution and exposure to pesticides landed Bald Eagles on the brink of extinction just decades ago, but today brings good news. Dedicated conservation efforts and partnerships nationwide have since helped them make remarkable population recoveries. They are no longer federally endangered as they once were. Today they thrive not only in the Lake Erie marshlands, but throughout northwest Ohio.

Since Bald Eagles fly sometimes five miles in search of prey, it’s possible to find them in just about any Metropark, especially along rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands.

Now that there is a Metropark within 5 miles of every Lucas County home, you have greater odds of seeing an eagle on the wing right in your neighborhood.

Eagles even nest in or near several of our Metroparks. Pairs will re-use and add on to their nests each year, so these very large "mansions" are often quite visible, with a weight comparable to that of a small car! If you think you have noticed an eagle's nest as you hike the Towpath or other trails, be sure only to observe it from a distance to avoid disturbing the majestic birds.